My partner and I love us some Korean food, and Chippendale’s recently opened Bibimbar, with its delightful play on play on words, broad menu, and inner city location was just the restaurant we were looking for for a quick but filling lunch.
It’s kind of difficult being in a relationship with someone who has a different taste in Korean fried chicken than your own. Nine times out of ten my partner will want to have sweet and spicy fried chicken (Dakgangjeong – 닭강정), and at restaurants that don’t offer two flavours in one serving that’s normally what we will get. We were glad that while Bibmbar doesn’t offer half and half on their half fried chicken, this choice was in fact available on their Wing Wing ($19) – a serving of twelve pieces of fried chicken wings and drumsticks.
I thought the chicken wings were well fried and flavoured, with the honey garlic wings taking the top spot in my heart. I actually did also enjoy the sweet and spicy fried chicken, more than I expected, and I think this has to do with Bibimbar’s careful attention to detail and making sure that the sauce was not so strong to be overpowering. We did also get a special creamy onion sauce for dipping ($2) though I think it is absolutely not a critical component of the meal and you’re not really missing out on anything without it. The chicken was very good as is.
The last time I had kimbab was probably back in 2003, out of my fourth grade friend Soo Hon Lee’s lunchbox. (This will be an exciting throwback for him if he has a Google alert set up for his name). No disrespect to Soo Hon and Soo Chan’s mother, but Bibimbar’s version of Kimbab (with bulgogi beef) ($14) was both better and more elaborate than what I remember. I really loved the fresh taste of the included vegetables, and the nice crunch in the mouth whilst chewing through them. This extreme freshness complimented the umami flavours of the mayonnaise, egg, and bulgogi beef very well. The ratio of fillings to rice was very good, ensuring entertainment throughout the entire mouthful. The “addicting soy sauce”, as mentioned on the menu, was actually quite a bit different to normal soy sauce, though I don’t know what exactly is in it (perhaps cocaine). I have no real barometer for kimbab except for home cooking for a nine year old’s packed lunch, but I can tell you that this was a good dish.
Jjapaguri, popularised by the Academy Award winning film Parasite, is a usually humble mixture of chapagetti and neoguri noodles – essentially a ramen and udon with spicy and black bean flavours. Bibimbar’s Jjapaguri ($34) is a little less humble – a large 30cm dish of noodles, fried tofu, some kind of fried dough cruller, cabbage, enoki, wood ear fungus, and beef brisket in a black bean sauce that’s cooked on a portable butane stove at the table. It was a really huge and delicious dish, though I’m not too sure what the actual benefit of being cooked at the table was. It was wholesome, hearty, and filling, great value with great flavours. I can really recommend this.
Bibimbar’s wholesome, hearty meals were an absolute delight. I can really recommend them to anyone looking for a reasonably priced and authentic Korean meal.
69 Abercrombie St, Chippendale NSW 2008
(02) 8964 0900